Educational forum

Grant Kallen of Empower Mississippi (center) speaks at a discussion of education in Mississippi held in August in Hernando. Kallen was joined by (from left) Rachel Canter (Mississippi First) and Nancy Loome (The Parents’ Campaign). Another discussion focusing on education and the economy at the DeSoto County level will be Sept. 17 at the DeSoto Arts Council in Hernando.  

On Sept. 17, the Mississippi Humanities Council will host the second in a special two-part Ideas on Tap series on public education in the state. The program, “The Future of Public Education in DeSoto County,” will take place at the DeSoto Arts Council on Sept. 17 at 5:30 pm.

The program will focus on the connection between public education and economic development in the area. Panelists include Corie Haynes, local realtor and parent of DeSoto County School District students; Cory Uselton, DeSoto County School District superintendent; and Dr. Michael Heindl, Northwest Mississippi Community College president. Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi president Tom Pittman will moderate the program. The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi will serve as a local partner for the Hernando program.

“We are excited to engage the community in this important conversation about public education,” said MHC executive director Dr. Stuart Rockoff.

An earlier program in the Hernando series took place in August and focused on statewide approaches to public education funding.

The Hernando programs are part of a larger yearlong series on public education in communities around the state. The series, funded by a $25,000 grant from the Phil Hardin Foundation, will examine Mississippi’s public education system in advance of the 2019 statewide elections. In addition to Hernando, programs will take place in Meridian and Biloxi. Earlier programs in the series took place in Jackson, Clarksdale, and Tupelo.

The MHC’s Ideas on Tap program presents informal humanities-based discussions on a wide array of contemporary topics. The program began in Jackson in 2016 and has since expanded to host programs in Oxford, Cleveland, Starkville, Hattiesburg, Pass Christian, Clarksdale, and Tupelo.

“We couldn’t be more excited for this conversation to take place in Hernando,” said MHC program officer Caroline Gillespie. “The goal of Ideas on Tap is to create opportunities for Mississippians to come together and have civil discussions about the important issues we face.”

The Sept. 17 program will be free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Mississippi Humanities Council.

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